Many people think that eating so-called junk food automatically turns into fat. It is not true.
Most calorie intake generally consumed during the day causes weight gain and accumulation of fat, but some certain foods don’t.
There are many people who do not really eat quality food, and don’t have a bigger intake of calories than their daily needs (quantitatively speaking), and still remain “thin” and skinny.
People will always be confused about this paradox until they realize that losing weight and reduction of body fat is accomplished through the equation of the intake of calories VS calories spent.
There are big differences in metabolism from one individual to other, and yes – some people need fewer calories to maintain their body weight.
However, many do not understand what “metabolism” is and mix up the daily caloric needs with genetics.
Here’s the most common perception of people about metabolism:
Good genetics = rapid metabolism
Bad genetics = slow metabolism
The truth is, the difference in the basal metabolism between two individuals of the same weight and composition is small.
Fast or high metabolism means that an individual spends a lot of calories daily. When you say that you have a slow metabolism, you are saying that you don’t spend a lot of calories.
We all have different energy needs, and these needs are often influenced by our body size and activity, not genetics.
This is the reality about metabolism:
Physically bigger individual = faster metabolism
Physically smaller individual = slower metabolism
Active individual = faster metabolism
Passive individual = slower metabolism
A women, which is larger and more active can spend up to 2,500 calories a day, and a less active women can burn 1,900 calories a day.
A man who is larger and more active can spend up to 3,200 calories a day, while a smaller and less active man can burn up to 2,500 calories a day.
But what about genetics? Aren’t some people born with a faster or a slower metabolism?
That’s correct. But after you adjust a weight / size the gap between the basal metabolism and genetics is very small. Two individuals with identical body weight, lean body mass and activity level, have approximately the same basal metabolism and the same consumption of calories.
Researchers suggest that there are very small differences in the basal metabolism of one individual and another, and many studies suggest that inter-individual variations in basal metabolism is only 3-8%.
Although having the same physical profile, and activity level, two female individuals may have these differences:
- A female individual A has a BM from 1475 calories a day (with a consumption of 2,200 calories)
- A female individual B has a BM from 1,350 calories a day (with a consumption of 2,000 calories)
It would be right to say that the individual B has a slower metabolism, relatively speaking. But is this the only reason that that individual would be obese or would have obstacles to reduce body fat and weight?
Absolutely not – there is little difference in the metabolism between two women who are similar or have the same physical profile.
If genetic differences in the metabolism are so small and slow metabolism isn’t the key problem, then why is it so hard for some individuals to lose weight and fat?
Well, for that question to be answered, the overall lifestyle of the individual should be considered and how it affects the energy needs. A complete response would be long. This includes the full “behavior” and the psychology of the person, and is a bit more complicated than the imported and burned calories throughout the day.
A lot of people don’t know how to adjust the diet to their physical profile and type of activity, or how to properly accelerate the melting of fat.
(Physically) Smaller female individual who consumes 1,900 calories per day, or doesn’t have enough time to exercise can make a mistake with the food intake. 500 calories less puts her at 1,400 calories per day and it is only 0.5 kg less weight per week.
Are there right ways to speed up metabolism?
Yes, there are ways to speed up your metabolism, or at least to prevent its slowdown, which often happens due to dieting. But you need to keep track of two things – diet and exercise. If you are trying to reduce your body weight only through diet, your metabolism will slow down, not speed up.
One way to speed up metabolism is through weight training and increase of lean muscle mass. The best way is by involving weight training. The training speeds up your metabolism for a short time after every workout, spends quite a lot of calories, and you need weight training to keep lean muscle mass while you are on diet for reducing body fat.
Another way to speed up your metabolism is to increase all your daily activities: add a cardio workout in the weight training. Moreover, the daily hiking, recreation and chores help more than you can imagine. Do not think just about exercise, but less inactivity.
A third way to speed up your metabolism is through diet. Diets with extreme starvation can cause a sudden loss of weight, but slow down your metabolism, so you need to gradually reduce calories, not all at once. High protein diet is ideal because it helps to preserve lean muscle mass during caloric deficit and a higher thermo-genetic effect.
A slow metabolism isn’t why many people are overweight. In fact, if you’re overweight, you have a faster metabolism.
It’s good because you can reach a greater calorie deficit means and you can burn more fat and lose weight faster.